Sussie Laustsen

Experience of cardiac tele-rehabilitation: Analysis of patient narratives

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Introduction: Research suggests the need for further studies of patients' experiences of cardiac tele-rehabilitation to understand how they adapt to life with heart disease in a program with long-distance contact, remote supervision and monitoring of health behavior. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore patients' experiences of tele-rehabilitation and the perceived gains of taking part in the program. Materials and methods: Seven patients were interviewed using a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach. Interview transcripts were analyzed as narratives using the interpretation theory of the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur. This involves three levels of textual analysis: a naive reading as the first interpretation followed by a structural analysis, where the text is explored in detail, before identifying the most significant interpretation through critical interpretation. Results: Patients valued cardiac tele-rehabilitation because it was not restricted to the hospital setting. They felt that the program's flexibility was an advantage because the program could be adjusted to their daily lives. The patients showed greater acknowledgement of and commitment towards the rehabilitation interventions if they were consistent with the patients' self-image, and if the activities were already part of their daily lives. If they were not, they were experienced as an extra challenge. Conclusions: Understanding patients' self-image and prior lifestyle may better inform clinicians about why it can be difficult for patients to follow rehabilitation recommendations. Therefore, clinicians may need to focus more on these two factors to help patients adapt to life with heart disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Pages (from-to)370-377
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

    Research areas

  • Cardiac rehabilitation, qualitative research, telemedicine, telerehabilitation, INTERVENTIONS, DISEASE, SECONDARY PREVENTION

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